hat’s the opposite of a pitchers’ duel?
Whatever the answer, South Pointe and Rock Hill’s baseball teams played one Thursday night. South Pointe came from behind twice in a game with 28 combined hits for an 18-11 win.
“I’ve always described my team as scrappy,” said South Pointe coach Joel Taylor, “and maybe resilient is one word I need to use as well.”
Slugfest? Not exactly. Considerable chunks of the game’s offense came from defensive goofs, though both sides’ bats were pinging-a-plenty. Each team’s leadoff batter doubled, a foreshadowing of how much scribbling the scorekeepers would be doing.
Rock Hill (5-11) loaded the bases in the top half of the opening frame and Jeremy De Los Santos delivered an RBI single that scored a second run when South Pointe infielders dallied with the ball. The Bearcats led 2-0 after the first, and 5-0 after the second. Connor Edkins, Brandon Banks and Wes Bostic all delivered RBI hits.
South Pointe (12-4) awoke with a vengeance in the bottom of the second, pushing eight runs across. Daniel Lipe and Stephen Thompson produced back to back RBI singles, before Will Dunn and Trey Prince followed with consecutive two-run singles to give the Stallions an 8-5 lead.
Rock Hill answered with five runs in the top of the next inning, as the game erupted offensively. Edkins again delivered a big hit, a two-run single that made it 8-7, before a Banks RBI single and a Stallions error put Rock Hill in front 10-7.
Surprise, surprise, South Pointe scored four times in the bottom half of the third to reclaim the lead for good. Bo Taylor, Lipe and Thompson delivered with RBI singles before a costly error pushed across two more for a 12-10 Stallions advantage.
South Pointe shut out Rock Hill in the fourth inning, and the game turned from there. The Bearcats only mustered one run in the final four frames. Meanwhile, the Stallions continued to score at will, with three each in the fourth and fifth innings to pad the lead to 18-11.
Rock Hill coach Dell Corley said afterward that his pitchers were ahead in the count against 33 of 41 South Pointe batters. But the Bearcats’ pitchers – Bryson Sherrill, Jackson Timmerman and Garrett Gwin – were let down too many times by the players behind them. Seven errors proved incredibly costly.
“We didn’t make plays, we didn’t back our pitchers up,” Corley said. “Bottom line, I can’t put it back on my pitchers tonight. We still should have made the plays.”
Corley was also annoyed his team didn’t put the Stallions away when it had the chance. That’s what pleased South Pointe’s Taylor the most.
“The camaraderie stayed the same,” he said. “They never lost confidence, never felt like it was too big that they could come back from. We did a great job of bouncing back every time they scored.”
Lipe was excellent in relief for South Pointe, allowing just four hits in three-plus innings of work, including just one base-runner over the final two innings.
“I was just trying to slow it down, let my team make the plays and that’s what I did,” said Lipe.
Edkins had a productive game with his bat for Rock Hill; he finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two extra-base knocks, but Lipe got him out in the top of the seventh, a crucial out for the host Stallions.
Edkins’ leadoff counterpart – South Pointe’s Taylor – also was bashing the ball all over the park. He was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and touched all four bases on a disastrous play for Rock Hill in the bottom of the sixth. Three Bearcat errors allowed three runs to score, including Taylor, who strolled home after the play’s final miscue.
Rock Hill faces Nation Ford Friday at 6 p.m. at Rock Hill High; South Pointe plays a home doubleheader against St. Vincent Pallotti – at 4 p.m. – then Greater Cabarrus at 6 p.m.
South Pointe 18, Rock Hill 11
WP- Daniel Lipe. LP- Bryson Sherrill.
Leading hitters: Rock Hill- Connor Edkins 4-5, 2 2Bs, 3 RBI; Brandon Banks 3-3, 3 RBI; Wes Bostic 3-4, RBI; Jeremy De Los Santos 2-3, RBI. South Pointe- Bo Taylor 3-4, 2 RBI; Stephen Thompson 3-4, 2 RBI; Will Dunn 1-2, 2 RBI; Trey Prince 2-4, 3 RBI; Jake Kurn 3-4, RBI.
Records: Rock Hill 5-11; South Pointe 12-4.